Please review the Graduate School Handbook, (section VII) for more information on the candidacy exam. The candidacy examination is composed of both written and oral portions. After passing both components, the student is considered a doctoral candidate.

The philosophy of the OSUN program is that the candidacy examination should:

  1. rigorously test the student’s comprehensive knowledge of the field of nutrition including allied fields and supporting areas emphasized in the student’s individual program; and
  2. assess the student’s ability to think critically and express those ideas clearly, and to design and conduct research.

The student’s advisor is chair of the examination committee. All members of the examination committee submit written questions for the candidacy examination. The committee member may administer the questions or submit them to the advisor who will arrange for their administration. Students are not allowed to see the questions before the exam. Generally, the student will write for 4 to 8 hours for each member of the examination committee (one exam day for each member of the committee) over a time period that is determined by the committee but usually within a one- to two-week period. Ideally, the committee will meet as a group with the student at least one semester before the examination to help prepare the candidate and to establish a mutually agreeable time frame for the examination and a general list of topics to be covered. The examination may include, but is not limited to, subject material directly related to the previously submitted and evaluated research proposal.

The student is responsible for presenting each member of the advisory committee with a typed copy of the written answers to the questions at least seven days prior to the oral examination.

The oral portion of the candidacy examination generally covers selective aspects of the answers to the written questions but also new questions. A unanimous vote of the committee is required for successful completion of the candidacy examination. Rules covering postponement of the oral examination, unsatisfactory written answers to the questions, failure to pass the oral portion of the candidacy examination, and opportunities for one repeat candidacy examination are detailed in the Graduate School Handbook.